Jonny Appleseed

Jonny Appleseed

A Novel

Book - 2018
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"'You're gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine' is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling debut novel by poet Joshua Whitehead. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Self-ordained as an NDN glitter princess, Jonny has one week before he must return to the "rez"-and his former life-to attend the funeral of his stepfather. The seven days that follow are like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). Jonny's world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages-and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Vancouver, British Columbia : Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018.
Copyright Date: �2018
ISBN: 9781551527253
Characteristics: 223 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

Johnny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, tries to make it in the big city after moving off the reserve. He becomes a sex worker online in order to make ends meet, but is told that he has to return in seven days. He needs to attend a funeral. But those seven days are an emotional kaleidos... Read More »

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WPL_Sherry Jun 03, 2021

A gritty look at a two-spirited boi trying to find his way home for a funeral. Funny, sad, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. His relationship with his Kokum, the person who knew his true spirit from a young age, a beautiful reminder of Indigenous families.

For Jonny, it is all about the journey. With an exquisite attention to detail he provides the best in queer cybersex, make-up, and loving tenderness. Memories of his grandmother and mom need to settle, even as his best friend/true love grows away. Sensual, painful, tender.

Kris--Pt. Roberts

May 15, 2021

I found it odd that he was so willing to expose himself to his readers. He has no boundaries at all. His life is tough, even when he is making light of it. I also find that a lot of books by people his age read this same way. It is stream-of-consciousness writing. Having said that, his ability to write is high.

LPL_ShirleyB May 04, 2021

Wow, I am so glad to know Jonny and everyone he loves--from his Kokum (grandmother), mom, to Tias his lover! Jonny is a bold Two-Spirit Indigi-queer storyteller who dances forward and back in time as he reveals his struggles and triumphs—sprinkled with many pop culture references. Find the eAudiobook, read by the author, in

JessicaGma Apr 08, 2021

So I don't know if I 'liked' the book, but it was good to read from a completely different perspective from what I know and see day to day. I also see why it is getting all the deserved buzz and hype too. It's a good read.

debwalker Mar 13, 2021

2021 Canada Reads winner!

STPL_JessH Sep 12, 2019

So I read about 30 pages, put it down, then started to read again and could not stop! I mean, I actually stood by the stove stirring the pot with my right hand, holding the book in my left so I could keep reading. Don't worry! It was completely safe.

To call Jonny Appleseed compelling, is an understatement. I was absolutely floored by Whitehead's honesty. The way he writes of the confluence of love and pain is so bold that it is at once complex and stunningly simple. I feel like the book is both a love letter to Jonny's kokum and a memoiresque bildungsroman. I left the book feeling hungry for more. I wasn't at all surprised to hear of Whitehead's love for Eden Robinson's character Jared because I feel like Jared and Jonny would have been fast friends.

I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it for fans of Eden Robinson, Roxane Gay, and Billy-Ray Belcourt.

Aug 02, 2019

interesting writing- hard to read-depressing

TechLibrarian Nov 26, 2018

I love the review from BPL: "this certainly won't be for everyone . . ." You can say that again! This author does not shy away from taboo topics of sex or drug use. That said, these topics are balanced with tenderness and wisdom and love. It's quite unlike anything I've ever read before, and I wasn't always sure I was going to make it. I'm so very glad that I did stick with it! One review said that it was an example of decolonized love, and I think that's an apt description. Also, the author's note explains that the act of writing was a process in healing. That understanding helped me to love this book even more.

BostonPL_JordanD Sep 21, 2018

This certainly won't be for everyone, but I loved it. It's told in nonlinear fashion, yet the prose is beautifully written with such emotion! It's at once sad, funny, raw, intimate. There is no set plot here, it's just a portion of Jonny's life as he's telling stories of his childhood on the rez, about his family, his friends, growing up, moving out, moving on. He pulls no punches about his two spirit sexuality either, which is front and center, as he tells stories about the men who pay him for sex, on screen and off. So, no, not for everyone. But for me, it was well worth the read.

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